With Jimmy Marohn Jr. sidelined by a racing accident at Tioga Downs on Labor Day, Monticello Raceway-based trainer trainer Danny Gill, who uses Marohn almost exclusively, had to scramble to fill the gap behind his pupils this week.
However, on Thursday, when Gill had six horses in to go, he split the driving chores between three talented chauffeurs: Bruce Aldrich Jr., Larry Stalbaum and Johnny Desimone. And Gill finished with a good day with two wins and two seconds from the six starters.
Most productive was Desimone who won two races for Gill, both trotting events. First, and foremost, Johnny D scored a 1:57.1 victory with Rose Run Nash ($5.30) which was the 6-year-old Trainforthefuture gelding's 17th victory and is tops by a trotter on the continent this year.
Now, Rose Run Nash is just one victory away from tying pacers Diamond Tiara and Shortest Distance, who co-lead North America with 18 wins. And strangely, all three horses are Mighty M regulars.
Desimone also reined Gill's other trotter, Sir Siro ($9.50), to a gate-to-wire to victory in 2:00.
"Desimone is good with trotters that's why I used him today, "Gill offered. "He used to work with (Gary) Messenger who always has a lot of good trotters.”
Gill is also in a fight for leading trainer honors with Messenger and Bob Lounsbury. "We each won two races yesterday,” Gill added. "But Messenger is still the leader.”
Messenger's 102 winners is currently tops while Lounsbury and Gill are in hot pursuit; Lounsbury with 95 wins and Gill with 94.
On the driving side Aldrich continues to lead the local colony. On Thursday he added three more victories to his seasonal totals and currently leads runner-up Jimmy Devaux by 34 wins: 224 to 190.
However, Aldrich is again among the leaders in North America in races won. Driving basically at two tracks, Monticello and Saratoga, many days simultaneously, his 393 winners ranks him sixth at this time. Last year Aldrich's 645 victories tied him for second place nationally with Dave Palone. Ronnie Wrenn Jr. copped the title last year with 714 wins. (Monticello)